A new book by an Iowa veteran chronicles his experience as a World War Two bomber pilot and prisoner of war. Howard Greiner’s book “Letters to Mom” features the letters the then-young man from Wellman wrote to his invalid mother. They chronicled his war service from start to finish. Greiner says his most vivid memory is bailing out of his burning bomber over Germany in 1945. He got out with the co-pilot and engineer but other crewmembers didn’t make it. Greiner says he has always blamed himself that the other crewmembers didn’t make it out of the plane.Greiner says nearly being killed by German civilians while waiting for a prisoner train is something else that sticks out from the experience. The crowd wanted to hang him and seven other prisoners, but German soldiers held them off.Greiner says putting together the book helped him come to terms with his guilt over losing the four members of his crew. He’d never talked about his war experiences until four years ago.Greiner says he changed his mind after being persuaded by a friend to attenda meeting of former war prisoners. Those prisoners told him they had similar experiences with guilt, but it wasn’t his fault. The 78-year-old Greiner now lives in Albian. His book is available at most bookstores.
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